Taking 2-3 years off in a company/service

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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:25 am

Taking 2-3 years off in a company/service

Postby gradQ » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:58 pm


Here is another post by me. :lol: As some of you might know (from my previous messages), I am planning of getting a master's degree in applied physics during the next few years. My plan after this is to stop academics for a while and work in a company for the following 2-3 years (it is a mandatory service) and then apply for the Ph.D. degree. I was wondering how this hiatus would affect me when I apply to graduate schools for the Ph.D. degree in applied physics after this service.

Or, would it be better to take this break now for the next 2-3 years and then do the masters, in which case I will apply for the Ph.D. degree right after completing my master's degree. As always, thank you all for reading and comments/advice.

Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:15 pm

Re: Taking 2-3 years off in a company/service

Postby stardust » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:01 pm

Why can't you work on your master's DURING the 2-3 years of company work.
The company would pay for it too. That way, you would save 2 years of time because
you would be doing both at the same time.

You may say, getting the master's first will affect the type of work you do, but you never know what they may hire you for.

Just an idea.

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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:23 pm

Re: Taking 2-3 years off in a company/service

Postby Astrodude » Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:34 pm

I was actually curious about this too. Got my BS in Physics and am finishing up my MS in Astronautical Engineering and am planning on applying to a couple of PhD programs in Physics (I want to focus on cosmology). However, my grades are not stellar so I don't think I have a good chance at being accepted to any decent program. Furthermore, I have no published papers or anything, although I worked as a lab assistant and then research assistant in undergrad, and am currently interning at the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico. Anyway, I was wondering if working for a few years for a defense company such as Lockheed, Northrop, or Boeing and getting some project experience would increase my chances at being accepted to a decent institution later on. I would also use this time to study very hard for the Physics GRE and possibly take it a couple of times until I got a really high score. My less-than-impressive stats are:

BS Physics, 3.0 GPA, not highly ranked program
MS Astronautical Engineering, 3.4 GPA expected, Top-10 ranked Engineering univ.
Research assistant for High Energy Physics group at my undergrad university working on trigger scintillation counters for a beam test of the LHC at CERN
Lab assistant for the Astrophysics group at my undergrad university working mainly on setting up vacuum systems
Currently a Space Scholars intern at the AFRL working on some infrared detector research

Sorry if part of this post deviated from the original topic, but what I am trying to get at is do I stand a chance at being accepted to a decent cosmology program based on my past academics if I did well on the Physics GRE and worked for a few years?

Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:25 am

Re: Taking 2-3 years off in a company/service

Postby gradQ » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:09 am

Hello stardust,

Unfortunately, it is not possible to study and work at the same time. The job (either company or some research job) will be a full-time job, and I would need to go to the area where I would work (away from where I go to school).

Also, getting the master's would make a difference on the kinds of service you would do. Those without the master's degree would spend these 2-3 years doing nothing. However, those with this degree can work for a company or get some research job (though I don't think I have any control over what research I do; probably not physics but more engineering stuff).

Any comments would be appreciated.

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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:30 pm

Re: Taking 2-3 years off in a company/service

Postby VT » Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:56 am

I'd be interested in hearing what people have to say on this, too.

UPDATE: alright, I am no more interested. I just changed my mind :)

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